Parents, art thou asleep?
Rape of minors seem to be on the increase and is causing alarm in the society. I have read horrifying cases of rape crimes against infants a few months or years old that left me numb. Some of the victims have not survived the ordeal.
Two stories of sexual abuse, one local and the other foreign, struck me during the past week. The local story, told in the voice of the child victimn detailed how a teacher’s instruction to her pupils to share hugs revealed that the child’s definition of a hug was to undress, lie down and wait for daddy to poke his fingers into her privates. The whole class was horrified. The teacher and school head later learnt the girl’s mother had endured the abuse with many tears because she was deaf and dumb (although I don’t believe that part – you know you’re never sure what to believe on the social media).
The foreign story, I read in the Daily Mail. A 12-year old repeatedly raped his 4-year old half sister, buying her quiet with sweets. The little girl however, finally, confided in her mother. The heartbroken mother reported to the police. Investigations revealed the boy had pornographic content on his cell phone. The boy is being tried and would be punished for the offence at juvenile level.
Please pray, why should a 12-year old have sexual content on his phone? If I ask why should he have a mobile people would say that is the demand of today’s world – that people must communicate and monitor their wards so it is necessary they have phones. Ironically, the lewd content on the youngster’s and the consequent crime are however evidence that no monitoring occurred.
Should a child have access to Internet on his phone? If you ask me, I say not. A ‘palasa’ phone that performs the basic call and texts functions will do. Yes, access to the Internet is good for learning but it needs to be strictly controlled. It is a big world and children need to stay in their lanes.
The world is a dangerous place for a child to navigate alone. Parenting is no easy task but it is one that should be done with all sense of responsibility. When it comes to a child’s welfare, parents need to question everything. Parents should not blindly trust relatives that share caregiver roles with them. Ordinarily, a child should be safe with blood relatives. But experience has shown this is not always the case. Or how else can we explain abuses by fathers, uncles and half brothers? Young boys also get abused by women, so men are not the only guilty party.
Regarding academics, parents have to be vigilant as well. An unforgivable percentage of our school-aged children are not achieving the required learning outcomes in numeracy and literacy for their levels. It is not enough to enrol your child in a fancy private school. My experience is that parents just have to be hands on about their wards’ education. There are no shortcuts. Not all schools care whether children learn all they should learn for each level. Because of profit, they push the children to the next level regardless of whether they deserve the promotion or not. They do not tell parents the truth. So parents themselves should monitor to ensure their wards are really making progress.
About Article Author